Barry University stands united with those around the world who are committed to education and the safe return of the captured young women of Nigeria. #BringBackOurGirls

#BringOurGirlsBack

A Message from the President of Barry University

As president of Barry University, an institution in Miami founded by women seventy four years ago, originally for women, it is inconceivable to me that 276 young Nigerian girls were captured and are being enslaved for the crime of wanting a basic education – one that would fulfill their dreams for a more secure and productive future for themselves, their families and their nation. Juxtapose that horror with the traditional happy events we celebrate in the US - thousands of families gathering to celebrate university commencements and Mother’s Day. Despite the joy our university community experienced last weekend at two graduation ceremonies for 1,072 students, 72 % of whom were women, we are outraged and profoundly saddened as we continue to receive reports about the horrific capture of those boarding school girls by Islamic extremists. Captured, enslaved, sold into marriage! Once again, the human family is witnessing atrocities, but unlike the now-documented revulsions of the past century, we have instant messages, tweets and photos that disturb our sensibilities and cause us to weep. Have we not learned anything from the past? We do not have the power to return those young girls of promise to their families, but the often repeated call to “Think Globally and Act Locally” comes to mind. When will the facts about human trafficking of girls and women right here in Florida impel us to act? For the university women who grace our lives with their creativity, hopes and dreams, and the young girls in the wings who aspire to wholeness and holiness, I am screaming with the women in Nigeria and around the world - “Enough is Enough!”

In solidarity and with the permission of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, you may want offer the following prayer and take the recommended actions that follow.

PRAYER

God of mercy and compassion, we come before you to pray for the safe return of the Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped from their school, separated from their families, and may be sold into slavery and forced marriage.
We pray for their safety, swift rescue and return to their homes.
We join our prayers with those of their grieving parents and families.
Comfort them in their distress and hear our prayers for their beloved daughters.
We pray that the Nigerian government, with the assistance and support of the international community, will make every effort to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls and reunite them with their families.
We also pray that all nations will affirm the right of girls everywhere to pursue an education, and will protect them and their schools from violent and unwarranted attacks.
O God, look with compassion on the Nigerian schoolgirls and all victims of human trafficking and child exploitation.
We pray for an end to their captivity, for the safety and well-being of children everywhere, and the success of efforts throughout the world to end the sin of human trafficking.
Amen.

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS TO TAKE

Sign the petition asking Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls from slavery and forced child marriage: http://www.walkfree.org/nigerian-schoolgirls/

Join Barry’s social media campaign: “Like” Bring Back Our Girls on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/barryuniversity

Please share this message as you wish.


Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD
President, Barry University

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